Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Honeymoon in Jamaica

Our wedding was pure bliss. It was the happiest day of our lives and it was SO amazing to spend an entire evening with all of our favorite people in the same place. All of that being said, we were more than ready for a getaway week after all of the wedding craziness subsided! I don't think it really caught up to us how tired we were until we were on the plane to Florida (that departed MSP at 6am, might I add). We left Monday morning after the wedding and headed to the Sandals Grand Riviera in Ocho Rios, Jamaica for eight days! It started off with a layover in Miami, Florida, then on to Montego Bay, Jamaica. When we got to Montego Bay, we found a Sandals rep and they lead us to the Sandals 'waiting room'. We were treated to cool towels, drinks and a comfy couch while we waited for our resort shuttle bus. I was really hungry, so I had my giant bag of Gardetto's out and was chomping away (I think Adam may have been slightly embarrassed). We rode a shuttle bus with two other couples that were staying at our resort. It was a two hour trip, so we got to know them pretty well! Our bus driver told us all about historical sites that we passed, fun facts about the area and was an all around nice guy. We made a pit stop to a little shop area about half way there to use the restroom, buy souvenirs/drinks..etc. When we got to Sandals, it was around dinner time. We were shown to our room and we unpacked our bags. Our bed had red rose petals all over it! So romantic and a great way to start of a honeymoon. The resort was HUGE! It was dinner time (and I had long since finished off the family sized Gardetto's bag), so we ventured off to find a restaurant. We had no idea where we were going (they didn't give us a real great intro as to where everything was), but eventually found a restaurant called Bayside. It was overlooking the ocean and to be honest, we were so hungry we didn't even look to see what kind of cuisine they had before sitting down. We felt like camels finally finding water in the desert after a long trip...We had an amazing meal (probably my favorite of the trip) of French onion soup, filet mignon with gorgonzola cheese, lobster and asparagus. I won't go into that much detail with our other food, but this first meal was amazing! It was one of the only restaurants we decided to visit twice for dinner during our stay. Our waiters name was 'Puppy'...just figured I'd put that in writing so we remembered :) He was a funny guy. Our other favorite restaurant was called Sabrina's Marketplace. It was an Italian restaurant and was seriously amazing. We also went there twice and the staff were so happy to see us again! With how many restaurants there are, it must have been rare to see people twice. They had an amazing 'anti-pasta' bar with lots of bread, salads and soups that you went up to before your main meal was served. My heaven. We spent the next seven days rotating between relaxing on the beach and relaxing next to one of the pools. Rough, I know. There were three beaches to choose from. One had a more relaxing/quiet feel to it, one was next to Jamie's Sports Bar and had loud music/beach games going all the time and the last was the beach where all of the watersports took place (paddle boards, hydro bikes, windsurfing). There were three main pools to choose from (and several other small ones scattered throughout the resort). The largest pool was on the other half of the resort, which was up in the mountains. There was a resort shuttle that came every five minutes or so and brought you to the other main hub. We went up there a few times, as it was where most of the pool games took place. The 'Playmakers', as they're called, facilitated the games and were all very fun and outgoing! We played several guys vs. girls games in the pool, all of which involved some sort of alcohol and the losers 'buying' (it was an all inclusive) the next round of drinks. We had a lot of fun and even met one couple that was from Bloomington, MN! The 'mountain side' of the resort also had several restaurants to choose from and it hosted the nightly events that went on. There was a White Out/Chocolate Party, a Jamaican Festival...and several others that I can't think of at the moment. All included lots of good food, live music and gave us all a chance to mingle and get dressed up! So fun. We read a few books, took lots of naps in beach chairs, worked on our tans, tried amazing food, met lots of really nice couples and just had an all around wonderful time. They had a late-night snack bar down by the beach that I may have visited a few times... It consisted of a build-your-own nacho bar and had burgers with all the fixin's! We used the paddle boards a few times and had a blast! We also took advantage of a few excursions that were included in our package. We went snorkeling and on a glass bottom boat excursion! Snorkeling was amazing and that leads to a funny story. The snorkel boat went out with about 20 people on it. After the safety instructions were over, people started jumping off the boat. Life jackets weren't required, but most people at least started off with them on. I love snorkeling, but initially am terrified of the deep water. As long as I have my trusty life jacket on though, I'm fine. As people were taking theirs off to dive deeper, Adam looked at me as to ask 'Can I take mine off too?' Long story short, nervous nelly wife didn't want new husband to drown, so he kept it on. He was still determined to dive deep though, so he kicked as hard and fast as he could to go deeper. As soon as he stopped kicking though, his life jacket yanked him up to the surface so quickly, it looked like someone was plucking him out of the ocean. So funny to watch :) We had a great time though! It was a real highlight of the trip for us.

It was an amazing honeymoon. Weather, food and accommodations could not have been better! If there weren't so many other amazing Sandals location that we'd want to try, we'd return in a heartbeat! It was the perfect first week as Mr. and Mrs. Erickson :)

Romantic welcome!

The Pier

Glass bottom boat excursion  


Paddle boarding like a pro!

Main Pool

Bayside Restaurant

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